Mapping QTLs conferring early blight (Alternaria solani) resistance in a Lycopersicon esculentum x L. hirsutum cross by selective genotyping

L. P. Zhang, G. Y. Lin, D. Niño-Liu, M. R. Foolad

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Most commercial cultivars of tomato, Lycopersicon esculentum Mill., are susceptible to early blight (EB), a devastating fungal (Alternaria solani Sorauer) disease of tomato in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world. Currently, sanitation, long crop rotation, and routine application of fungicides are the most common disease control measures. Although no source of genetic resistance is known within the cultivated species of tomato, resistant resources have been identified within related wild species. The purpose of this study was to identify and validate quantitative trait loci (QTLs) conferring EB resistance in an accession (PI126445) of the tomato wild species L. hirsutum Humb. and Bonpl. by using a selective genotyping approach. A total of 820 BC1 plants of a cross between an EB susceptible tomato breeding line (NC84173; maternal and recurrent parent) and PI126445 were grown in a greenhouse. During late seedling stage, plants were inoculated with mixed isolates of A. solani and subsequently evaluated for EB symptoms. The most resistant (75 plants = 9.1%) and most susceptible (80 = 9.8%) plants were selected and subsequently transplanted into a field where natural infestation of EB was severe. Plants were grown to maturity and evaluated for final disease severity. From among the 75 resistant plants, 46 (5.6% of the total) that exhibited the highest resistance, and from among the 80 susceptible plants, 30 (3.7% of the total) that exhibited the highest susceptibility, were selected. The 76 selected plants, representing the two extreme tails of the response distribution, were genotyped for 145 restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) markers and 34 resistance gene analogs (RGAs). A genetic linkage map, spanning approximately 1298 cM of the 12 tomato chromosomes with an average marker distance of 7.3 cM, was constructed. A trait-based marker analysis (TBA), which measures differences in marker allele frequencies between extreme tails of a population, detected seven QTLs for EB resistance, one on each of chromosomes 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10 and 11. Of these, all but the QTL on chromosome 3 were contributed from the resistant wild parent, PI126445. The standardized effects of the QTLs ranged from 0.45 to 0.81 phenotypic standard deviations. Four of the seven QTLs were previously identified in a study where different populations and mapping strategy were used. The high level of correspondence between the two studies indicated the reliability of the detected QTLs and their potential use for marker-assisted breeding for EB resistance. The location of several RGAs coincided with locations of EB QTLs or known tomato resistance genes (R genes), suggesting that these RGAs could be associated with disease resistance. Furthermore, similar to that for many R gene families, several RGA loci were identified in clusters, suggesting their potential evolutionary relationship with R genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-19
Number of pages17
JournalMolecular Breeding
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Biotechnology
  • Plant Science


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